Early Greek tyranny. Formation of a policy system.
Early Greek tyranny.
The problem of early ("older") tyrannies is directly related to colonization and major changes in the social order of the VII-VI centuries BC.Tyranny is based on political violence against a certain part of society and the authority of one ruler - the simplest form of power, which was only a step in the ascent of the Greeks to more complex ideas about democracy. In Greece, the era of tyranny represented a transitional stage, the reason for which lay in the loss of social balance. The period of active economic development was accompanied by social unrest caused by the polarization of society, sharply divided into poor and rich. This gap was great, and tyrannical regimes are emerging in a number of cities to destroy it.
In the archaic era, the status of a noble person consisted of two components: the antiquity of the family and the wealth of a citizen. The concepts of "noble" and "poor", quite compatible even in the time of Odysseus, are no longer applicable to the nobility of the archaic era. The main part of the common people aspired to participate in power, so it was during the time of troubles that the Greeks gradually developed an idea of citizenship. Tyrants were the enemies of society associated with the old order, that is, the rule of the nobility. The main goal of the new rulers is the extermination of the aristocracy, so tyranny as a destructive phenomenon could not be progressive. On the other hand, the rulers expressed the interests of ordinary citizens and often, without knowing it, cleared the way for democracy. In this case, the people themselves elected tyrants, and their coming to power was not associated with direct violence.There are 2 types of tyranny: the first is the tyranny established as a result of the struggle of the demos with the ancestral nobility - a new form of power was born from their opposition; the second is the tyranny of the Greek proteges of Persia, who subjugated the policies on the west coast of Asia Minor and nearby islands - these tyrants carried out a pro-Persian policy when with VI c. BC. the young Persian state began to gain strength. However, in general, tyrannical regimes in ancient Greece did not become ubiquitous.
The tyranny of Polycrates on the island of Samos (540).The tyrant Polycrates ruled on the island of Samos around 540 BC. He made a political unification of the island, destroyed the tribal division into philae and replaced it with a territorial one, since the administrative division forcibly destroyed the tribal ties. A large military fleet was created and major construction works were carried out: walls, defensive structures were erected, a convenient harbor was arranged, and water supply was carried out. Polycrates was not content with power on Samos and tried to extend his power to the Cycladic Islands in order to seize profitable trade routes. In 523 BC, at the temple of Apollo on the island of Delos, he established Greek festivals in his honor. The strengthening of Samos did not please the Persians, who lured Polycrates into a trap in Asia and crucified him there. There was no more tyranny on Samos.
The tyranny of Periander in Corinth (627-585).In Corinth, tyrants were in power for about 70 years (at the turn of the VII-VI centuries BC). With their arrival, the development of colonization activities began - Corinth became the metropolis of many Western apoicias. The most famous was the tyrant of Corinth, Periander, who ruled from 627 to 585 BC. During his reign, the colonies, often not subject to the metropolis, were directly conquered.
Corinth expands external relations and strengthens in the western direction: for example, it trades with Illyria, from where silver is brought for coinage, which first appear no earlier than the VII century BC. Corinth maintains relations with Italy, Egypt, Spain, the Northern Black Sea coast, Syria, Cyprus - trade with them is becoming widespread. Corinth becomes the center of metalworking, textile craft and shipbuilding; it is the birthplace of the anchor and trier - the fastest ship of that time with three rows of oars.
In Corinth and its colonies, the courts of the nobility are being replaced by courts for territorial districts, common meals and the system of public military education of young men are being abolished. The last measures of Periander were directed against the ancestral aristocracy, in whose eyes the appearance of tyranny was the death of ancient orders, the valor of noble families and the very idea of primordial nobility, the destruction of traditional customs that supported the culture of the upper strata of society. However, for the history of Corinth, this was a temporary stage. As the oracle of Delphi foretold to one of the subsequent tyrants of Corinth: "You and your children will rule, but not the children of your children."
Formation of a policy system.
The word "policy" has three meanings: city, state and civil community. In the view of the Greeks, all three meanings merged together. A disciple of the philosopher Plato, Aristotle, who studied various types of the state structure of Greek cities, in his book "Politics" defined the polis as a political association of citizens to create the best conditions for their spiritual and material life, with the aim of the public good, by which Aristotle understood justice expressed in civil equality.1
City-states existed before the archaic era, but they had clan orders. Overcoming ancestral traditions has become crucial for the emergence of such phenomena as polis and statehood. New governance structures and citizens' self-awareness are being formed.
There were certain prerequisites for creating a policy. One of the first is the geographical factor. Greece is divided by ridges into many valleys, within which settlements could not be enlarged. Small-sized territories suitable for life have caused a small number of communities, that is, one of the main conditions for the creation of democracy is a small civic collective.
The second premise is connected with the absence of large palace complexes in the Homeric era and the individualization of production. Farms become self-sufficient, a wide layer of small farmers, personally free, develops. Together with the central government, the factor necessary for economic unification disappears. This is one of the main differences between Greek cities and eastern ones, where palace or temple farms played a unifying role, regulating the religious, cultural and industrial life of people. In Greece, the era of the "dark Ages" and the archaic, there was no central, unifying power of the polis, so the settlements remained scattered and constantly at war with each other.Frequent mutual hostility has become the third prerequisite for the creation of a policy system, since external danger is a powerful unifying principle. The presence of a threat from neighbors became the reason for the consolidation of citizens. The emergence of the first policies occurred through the so-called synoikism - the process of merging several ancestral settlements into one, which began in the "dark ages".
The last, fourth, prerequisite for the emergence of the polis was the establishment of tyrannical regimes that finally broke the power of the nobility and opened the way for democracy, which as a system developed in Greece by the V century BC.
The polis was a community of citizens, where the people's Assembly was at the same time a people's militia and the civil organization of the city coincided with the military - citizens were people who voted and fought. The basis for citizenship was the possession of a land allotment. A person without land could not be a citizen, so the rightful owner owned a piece of land, which was also claimed by the state. That is, the landowner could not block the public road or the common path to the reservoir that ran through his plot, had no right to leave the allotment and not cultivate it, as well as sell it to a foreigner, etc. - the state interfered in the private land use of citizens. This dual form of ownership, which includes both private and public ownership, is designated as antique.
The collective of citizens was not numerous and opposed a fairly large mass of the dependent population, who were the inferior. For example, Aristotle lived in Athens as a migrant, metek, and had no civil rights. In addition to the Meteks, slaves and women could not enjoy all the rights, the number of such people turned out to be much larger than the number of citizens, and democracy for antiquity is a rather conditional concept, since it was limited to a small group of people.
The polis becomes the initial cell of two types of state structure: oligarchic and democratic. The oligarchic state system was based on class principles, that is, on the opposition of the elected elite to the rest of the population. This form of statehood is being formed in Sparta. The democratic regime that existed, for example, in Athens, was based on the principles of universal equality. The confrontation between Athens and Sparta was not only the enmity of the two states, but a deep antagonism of the two systems, which will clearly manifest itself already in the Peloponnesian War. In addition, Sparta and Athens are not typical policies for Greece, and their example cannot be indicative for other cities.
The first Greek legislation.
The formation of the policy system is associated with the appearance of the first legislations that formalized a new state structure. The elimination of the old orders associated with the domination of the aristocracy sometimes occurred through the reform of legislation, and not by creating tyrannical regimes. The first laws arise in Greece around the VII-VI centuries BC. The legislation of Zalevka from Locri (a city in Southern Italy) belongs to the VII century, the lawmaking of Charonda from Catan (Sicily) belongs to the VI century, that is, the first laws appear in "Great Greece" - southern Italy and Sicily. In order to instill respect for the laws in citizens, Zalevk and Harond ordered those wishing to make amendments to appear in the People's Assembly with a noose around their necks, and if the people do not recognize the changes as fair, to strangle themselves on the spot. For several hundred years of the existence of laws, almost no changes have been made to them.
However, the most famous legal codes were created directly in Greece at the end of the VII - beginning of the VI century BC by Draconus (621) and Solon (594).
The legislation of the Dragon in Athens (621).
Drakont was the archon who carried out the civil administration of Athens. Little is known about his lawmaking. In fact, he only wrote down and codified the unspoken laws that already existed in Athens. Drakont abolishes the right of blood feud, makes a clear distinction between intentional and unintentional murder. With him, an important formalization of the right to private property takes place, when any attempt on property of even small value, for example, theft of vegetables, was punishable by death. When Drakont was asked why all crimes in his laws deserved the death penalty, he replied that he could not think of any lesser or greater punishment. This kind of legislation, "written in blood", reflected a certain stage in the formation of the state, through which many ancient societies passed.1
The legislation of Solon in Athens (594).
Solon, according to the late ancient tradition, was one of the seven great sages of antiquity. Thanks to the laws he issued, the foundations of the future Athenian democracy were laid.
In 594 BC, Solon became an archon and carried out reforms. Under him, olive growing is developing - the olive, according to legend, was given to Athens by the daughter of Zeus Pallas, who, in a dispute with Poseidon, offered the residents of the city an olive branch, which became a symbol of prosperity and well-being of the polis. Athens begins to sell olive oil widely, Solon encourages the cultivation of vineyards and the expansion of orchards, regulates water supply in arid areas by digging new wells. He introduces an interesting law: if the father does not teach the son a craft, then the son has the right to refuse the parent assistance in old age, that is, knowledge of a certain craft becomes one of the elements of a person's civil status. Solon is making changes in the weight and coin systems: uniform standards are being established that are mandatory for the whole of Attica, contributing to the development of trade. Laws against luxury are being introduced: it is forbidden to arrange expensive burials, install luxurious tombs and make great sacrifices. These resolutions were directed against the nobility.The social reforms of Solon, who introduced the concept of property qualification for the first time in Greece, were also anti-aristocratic. Solon divides all citizens into four categories according to the size of their property. A person who had 500 medimnas of income (medimn is a measure of loose bodies, about 50 liters) was included in the first category of "five hundred". The second category (qualification - 300 medimnov) - the so-called "horsemen". Horsemen and five hundred - the highest categories of citizens - received the honorary right to serve in the cavalry and be elected to civilian positions. The third category - the Zeugites, "owners of a team of oxen" (200 medimns) - had to serve in the heavily armed infantry, since they could not support a horse. Those who had incomes of less than 200 medimnas (fourth category) were called fets, and they received only the right to vote in the People's Assembly. The qualification determined the dependence of a citizen's social status not on his birthright, but on his property status - this was the importance of social reforms.
Solon cancels debt bondage - debts related to the mortgage of land, and makes many farmers free. The activity of the People's Assembly is being activated, Solon introduces the Council of Four Hundred, which prepares cases in the intervals between convocations of the assembly. Under Solon, there is a special judicial body - helia, which checked the reports of officials and sorted out conflicts between citizens.
The reforms of Solon formed the basis of the democratic system of Athens, which represented the pinnacle of the political creativity of the ancient Greeks, not surpassed later.